Over 100000 Puerto Ricans Now Have Internet Thanks To Balloons

Over 100000 Puerto Ricans Now Have Internet Thanks To Balloons

Over 100000 Puerto Ricans Now Have Internet Thanks To Balloons

Providing an internet connection to more than 100,000 people is not a major success, especially considering that the population of Puerto Rico is at 3.4 million.

In early 2016, Project Loon delivered basic internet connectivity to tens of thousands of people in flood-affected zones in Peru in partnership with the Peruvian government and Telefonica.

Still, a lot of the USA territory's 3.5 million people are without internet and cell services after Hurricane Maria knocked out much of Puerto Rico's infrastructure.

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According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the more than forty percent of the locations in hurricane hit Puerto Rico have out of service communications.

Project Loon head Alastair Westgarth says in a blog post that the technology is still experimental, though it has been tested since past year in Peru following flooding there. This is the first time the tech was put to use. There is a lot of work left to be done to bring Puerto Rico back to its feet, but having Project Loon's balloons up in the sky will certainly help out.

It's been almost two months since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, and the island is still in the midst of a long road to recovery. To keep them clustered over the island, the balloons are using computer algorithms to navigate the atmospheric conditions. Facebook, Tesla, and Cisco had promised to support the people during the disaster.

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The balloons travel approximately 12 miles (20km) above the Earth's surface in the stratosphere. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network.

The balloons are solar powered and have batteries on board, but service at night is limited.

In addition to Project Loon, telecommunication providers have been working to fix damaged cellular sites and towers on the ground.

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